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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13634
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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Criminal trespass JA: The Lawyer will need to help you with

Customer Question

Criminal trespass
JA: The Lawyer will need to help you with this. Have you consulted a lawyer yet?
Customer: The public defender is trying to get me to plead to a felony criminal trespass and if I'm reading the law correctly I cannot be charged with felony or misdemeanor trespass for entering a structure that is not occupied, not entered by force, and not being advised by owner or otherwise to not enter property. It was an empty abandoned, unoccupied building, with no source of locks or barricade. I'm willing to admit to the fact that yes I was on the property adjacent to the building where I was employed. It's unoccupied and unihanitable old empty shell. I don't feel as though having me plead to anything other than a summary trespass is justified?????
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Lawyer should know?
Customer: I understand that I can be charged for anything but I'm talking about the actual conviction
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using Just Answer.What state is this in, please, so I may review the statute?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Also not sure if this is the correct site I live in Pennsylvania so I know the laws differ
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your reply and patience while I read the statute. While the state can charge you with a second degree felony, it is a defense to the charge that the building was unoccupied under the statute, yes. . Your lawyer cannot make the decision for you. You have final decision making power, so you can decide to take the matter to trial and reject and plea offer. Alternatively if you believe that your lawyer is not acting in your best interest and representing you poorly, you can dismiss your attorney, and ask that the court appoint you a new one. If you need clarification or additional information, please reply and I'm happy to assist further.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I completely understand it being my choice but I live in a county with only 1public defender and feel that he's working in the best interest of the city system. I also understand they could have "charged" me with attempted homicide they can charge with anything, but from what I'm reading what I did does not fall under a felony or misdemeanor grade. Based on the law, as it's written don't you feel based on what I've told you, and that is the sort in its entirety because don't want to waste my time or yours that it's only a summary??? I get that they can charge you with anything they want but if I'm reading the law correctly what I did does not fall under felony or misdemeanor as it was unoccupied, non dwelling, inhabitable, there was no forced entry, or barricade, no destruction, no posting, confrontation, warning, or request by owner to not be on the property. So as far as laws are written, wouldn't this be considered a summary offense?
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I agree that I think it was overcharged based on how it was written, but what I think or what you think is irrelevant. The prosecutor obviously feels they can get you on this charge, and they are allowed to file such a charge. They of course have the burden of proving all of the elements under the statute. In other words, you don't have to prove your innocence -they have to prove your guilt. If they can't, then you should not be convicted of the charge. Alternatively, have you discussed with your attorney possibly bringing a pre-trial motion to get the case kicked because the evidence doesn't support the charge? Something to think about.
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 1 year ago.
Your complete satisfaction is my goal. If you need additional information or clarification about my answer, please reply, and I'm happy to assist further. Otherwise, kindly remember to leave a positive rating by clicking on the stars/happy faces (3-5 stars/happy faces) as that is the only way experts such as myself are compensated on this site for our time and expertise, even if you have left a deposit. It doesn't cost you anything extra to leave a rating. Thank you.